Posts Tagged ‘volunteering’

Volunteer Spotlight: Eileen and Peter Grunert

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Sister and brother Eileen and Peter Grunert are making a difference in New York City. Through the Catholic Charities Junior Board they created a new volunteer project for members and friends at the Catholic Charities Community Services Thrift Store, located in the South Bronx. Nearly every month, Eileen and Peter, along with Junior Board members and friends volunteer to sort, tag, price, and organize donations to be sold at the Thrift Store. The group is welcome with open arms and smiles, so appreciative of their assistance.

Eileen is a graduate of the College of the  Holy Cross and currently works for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.  Her roots in volunteerism go back to church activities, candy-striper at a local hospital in high school, and then as a tutor in college. She eventually moved to NYC and became involved in the Catholic Charities Junior Board when it was first formed in 2008. Eileen was instrumental in the creation of the Midnight Run volunteer opportunity and eventually stepped down to start another Junior Board project….volunteering at the Thrift Store. Eileen credits her parents and her Jesuit education for inspiring her volunteerism. Between balancing work and volunteer activities, Eileen spends her “spare” time with family and friends, reads, and watches Big Bang Theory.

When asked – Why did you choose Catholic Charities as a means to volunteer? – Eileen said, “This organization is very special in that it not only promotes volunteerism, but also weaves in many other important aspects such as faith and meeting other young Catholics in the city.  I’ve made new friends and had wonderful experiences here to date.”

Peter Grunert joined the Junior Board after settling into life in NYC. He is a graduate of Loyola University, Maryland and employed by Citigroup. Similar to Eileen, Peter began volunteering in high school — participating in a service trip to the Dominican Republic — and furthered his commitment to service in college. His Jesuit education was a big impact in Peter’s life and continues to motivate him to give back to the community. Since first introduced to the Junior Board by sister Eileen, Peter was off to a running start, becoming active in multiple committees and activities. After visiting the Thrift Store, he knew that was where he could make the biggest impact.  In addition to volunteering with Catholic Charities, Peter is involved with other groups including Year Up New York and Back on my Feet. To keep things light, Peter enjoys running.

Peter hopes to continue to volunteer throughout your life…”My aim is to always contribute to the broader goals of justice and service, be it volunteering my time, fundraising, offering my support, or in some other meaningful way.”

To learn more and join Eileen and Peter in supporting the Thrift Store, email Staci Bruce, Director of Volunteer Services, at ccvolunteer@archny.org.

Viacom Corporate Volunteers Refresh a Harlem Community Center

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is more than just a buzzword. As more and more for-profit companies become directly involved in community stewardship, charitable organizations can benefit from meaningful support that goes beyond philanthropic dollars to include cause-based awareness building and group volunteering.

Check out a photo album on Facebook featuring our Viacom volunteers: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151536650910494.842472.302103665493&type=3

On April 20, Catholic Charities welcomed volunteers from Viacom’s annual ViaCommunity Day, in which Viacom employees join forces to support community projects in cities around the world. Thanks to the energetic team, a long-awaited and much-needed painting project was completed at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Center in Harlem.

The Kennedy Center’s fourth floor Alumni Conference Room, a multipurpose room used for activities ranging from Bible study classes to choir rehearsals, offers great acoustics for music rehearsals – but the mustard-yellow walls have been in need of a refreshing paint job. Luckily for the Kennedy Center, roughly 25 volunteers from Viacom, the parent company of Paramount Pictures and media networks including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and BET, dedicated their day to painting the room a crisp, bright white.

Lead by Staci Bruce, Catholic Charities Director of Volunteer Services and former Viacom employee herself when she worked for Showtime, and Tara Clark, the project’s team leader, the painting project was able to get completed by lunch time.

“I always look forward to [ViaCommunity Day]. This is a great way to build camaraderie and also help the community,” said Tara, who works for Nickelodeon.

And help the community they did. A painting project of this magnitude could be very costly and take three times longer if contracted with a private company. During times when nonprofits must contend with reduced budgets and limited funding, volunteer projects like this are often the only way these community-based charities can keep serving their clients. This is especially so for the Kennedy Center, which serves more than 6,000 people every month, operating services ranging from college preparation workshops to a food pantry for the elderly.

Stacy Katz and Kelly Sherman of Comedy Central discussed why ViaCommunity Day is of particular importance to them:

“I like to give back but I don’t always have the time to do something like this. Viacom takes charge in setting this up each year and actually encourages people to show up and help.”

The Kennedy Center wasn’t the only site that benefited from today’s event. While most Viacom volunteers painted the room, a dozen split off to work on painting a mural that will be presented to the Beacon of Hope House, a Catholic Charities Community Services program that serves physically and emotionally challenged individuals.

Viacom was named the overall leader in CSR practices by PR News in 2011.

New York Archdiocese Joins Forces to Feed Our Neighbors

Friday, January 20th, 2012

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By Marianna Reilly

January 20, 2012 — From January 22 through January 29, organizations throughout the Archdiocese of New York will join forces to help address the hunger crisis in our community. The Feeding Our Neighbors campaign is a unified response to Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan’s call to “feed the hungry in the name of Jesus,” ensuring that none of our neighbors are turned away when they look to the church for help. Learn more and join the campaign today.

Join the fight against hunger. Tell us what you will be contributing to our Archdiocesan-wide drive on Facebook.

Looking for ideas? Check out this guide to food donations:

The Archdiocese of New York network needs these nutritious foods:

Vegetables

  • Canned Vegetables
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Vegetable Soups
Fruits

  • Canned Fruits (in juice or light syrup)
  • Dried Fruits
  • 100% Fruit Juices
Proteins

  • Beans- canned or dry
  • Peanut Butter
  • Nuts
  • Canned Meat (chicken, beef, ham)
  • Canned Fish (tuna, salmon, sardines)
  • Canned Stews (chicken or beef)
Grains

  • Rice (white, brown, flavored)
  • Pasta/noodles
  • Dry Cereal and Hot Cereal (grits, oatmeal, farina)
  • Flour/Cornmeal/Baking Mixes
  • Whole Wheat Crackers
  • Couscous
Dairy

  • Dry Milk packets
  • Shelf stable milk
  • Soy/Almond/Rice Milk
Other Items

  • Nutritional Beverages (Boost, Ensure, Carnation Instant Breakfast)
  • Spices
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Personal Care Items

To ensure safety, we cannot use:

  • Rusty or Unlabeled Cans
  • Avoid glass containers and all perishable foods
  • Homemade Items
  • Noncommercial Canned Items
  • Noncommercial Packaged Items
  • Alcoholic Beverages & Mixes
  • Open or Used Items

How to Volunteer in New York this Christmas Season

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

A volunteer and her daughter at last year’s St. Nicholas Project Shopping Day in Manhattan.

By Marianna Reilly

December 7, 2011 — Looking to give back as Christmas draws near? Catholic Charities invites you learn more about our many New York volunteer opportunities. Check out how our dedicated volunteers are giving back this year, and connecting with our neighbors in need.

  • Did you miss St. Nicholas Project Shopping Day in Westchester? On Tuesday December 6, the Feast Day of St. Nicholas, volunteers helped shop for families in need at our St. Nicholas Project Shopping Day in Westchester, New York. The event, named SNOW (St. Nicholas of Westchester), was held at the White Plains Kmart, and was a great success. Gloves, coats, boots and blankets were among the items piled into shopping carts to help give 60 local families a warm and happy Christmas. Spearheaded by Catholic Charities Board member Susan Salice, SNOW was attended by Westchester County executive Rob Astorino and Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities New York.

Missed it? Want to volunteer at our next Shopping Day?

  • Volunteer at St. Nicholas Project Shopping Day in Manhattan on December 10: Sign up to volunteer at Catholic Charities biggest volunteer event of the year! Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Catholic Charities Executive Director Msgr. Kevin Sullivan will be among those who will shop for winter necessities for families in need at the Astor Place Kmart in Greenwich Village on Saturday, December 10. All volunteers will shop for free with funds provided by our generous donors. The St. Nicholas Project, which provides crucial social services to families throughout the year, is largely supported by the fundraising events and activities of the Catholic Charities Junior Board.
  • Did you miss volunteering at our Manhattan Christmas Party? On December 6, volunteers assisted at a Christmas party for mentally challenged individuals at Beacon of Hope House, helping set up the event, serve food, distribute raffles, wrap and give out gifts and gift cards. Beacon of Hope House, an agency run by Catholic Charities Community Services, operates residences for approximately 200 individuals and a day program for the mentally challenged in Staten Island and the Bronx.

Missed it? Want to volunteer at our next Christmas Party?

  • Volunteer at our Westchester Christmas Party on January 7: Assist with a Charity Christmas Party in Yonkers for day laborers and their families who are part of Obreros Unidos, a supportive program operated by Catholic Charities New York. Party volunteers will set up prior to event, serve food, distribute raffles, wrap and give out gifts. A brief orientation and training will take place at the site. Volunteers can choose to participate during one or both shifts on January 7th, 2012: from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., or from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. All that’s needed is an outgoing personality and great interpersonal skills. We especially welcome bilingual volunteers.

Want to discover even more New York volunteer opportunities? Check out our full list of opportunities here, in locations throughout the Archdiocese of New York.